The Australian and Canadian dollars lost ground over the week while the NZ dollar and the South African rand strengthened. The Aussie's suffering was exacerbated by weak retail sales in December and by the Reserve Bank of Australia governor's warning that he had the "flexibility to ease [monetary policy] further". It lost three quarters of a US cent on the week and was down by .a cent against sterling.

Although investors agree that the safe-haven Japanese yen and euro are good places to stash their cash there is no such agreement about the supposedly risky commodity currencies. The Australian and Canadian dollars lost ground over the week while the NZ dollar and the South African rand strengthened.